Here East
BASc in London University
LIS student accommodation partner
East London university campus LIS student accommodation partner
Students at UK university.
LIS - studying

Use Excel to Model COVID-19

The London Interdisciplinary School
14 July 2020
Clock Icon
35 mins read

Create your own spreadsheet model of the COVID-19 virus spread

💡 Video 1: spreadsheet disease spread: Watch the video below which introduces the spreadsheet model. This type of model is known as a cellular automaton (or CA), which can be used to simulate many complex systems in biology, chemistry, and of course epidemiology (and more). See this link for more on spreadsheet cellular automata.

💡 Video 2: probabilistic model: Identify areas of improvement – how could you add more realism? This will inevitably involve interdisciplinary thinking. Suggested considerations: think about what a ‘real’ social group looks like, how people really behave (before and during the virus spread), and how the virus itself behaves once a person is infected. (Use relevant real data if required.) The video below👇 shows how to incorporate probability into the model.


💡 Video 3: reproduction number R: The initial value of R is commonly called R0 (“R nought”). Read this article from Plus Magazine; it is highly accessible and also includes a useful discussion about ‘herd immunity’.

“Simple Cellular Automata on a Spreadsheet”, Chris Hand, 2005.


Related Articles

Newsletter Sign-up

Take the lead.
Join the

Stay connected.

Undergraduate (BASc): apply now
Graduate (MASc): apply now